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Winter Plumbing Tips

 Winter can cause additional stress to your plumbing system.  You can avoid many common plumbing issues by being proactive and following the maintenance tips to protect your system during the winter months.

 

 


 1. How The Cold Weather Can Affect Your Plumbing  

It's time for you to prepare for the winter months as we approach the end of the summer in Illinois. The temperatures will drop soon, so now is the time to prepare your plumbing system for winter. Ground temperatures can drop dramatically in the winter, which can cause serious damage to your plumbing systems. Continue reading to find out how cold water can affect your plumbing system. Also, what you can do this winter to avoid major plumbing issues.

 

 Water Heaters   

Is there anything more frustrating than a broken water heater during winter? While your water heater is able to heat water year-round, winter makes it more difficult. Your system will experience wear and tear due to increased demand for hot water in the winter months, and the fact that water is brought to the heater at lower temperatures.

 

Water heaters can experience issues or even complete failure when temperatures drop. This is because they are not properly maintained. 

 

Some of the most common water heater issues during winter include:

·         Extremely high Nicor bills

·         Strange sounds from the water heater

·         Not enough hot water

·         Water leakage

·         Rust

·         Fluctuating temperatures

 

 Pipes   

Frosted pipes are one of the most frequent plumbing problems in winter. Frozen pipes can develop when temperatures fall below freezing. You can see frost on your pipes' exterior if you notice bad smells coming from your pipes, water not coming out of the faucets, or a sink that is leaking. Frozen pipes can lead to major plumbing problems if left untreated.

 

Water freezes and expands, causing blockages in your pipes. If a blockage becomes large enough, water can't flow through the pipes and creates significant pressure. If there is enough pressure buildup in the pipes, pipes can crack or burst and cause extensive damage to your home.

 

 Drains   

It is important to not pour grease or oil down the kitchen sink during winter. Grease and oil can freeze in pipes that are cold or frozen and cause blockages. You can sometimes fix the problem by running hot water down the drains. But more often, a professional plumber will be needed to resolve the problem.

 

 2. Winter Plumbing Tips 

There are some things you can do to reduce your chances of having a plumbing issue this winter.

 

 Weatherproof exposed outdoor pipes 

Water in outdoor pipes can freeze if the temperature drops in Illinois or your area. Water expands when frozen, which can cause cracks in your pipes. Weatherproofing is a simple solution. Any pipes that are exposed can be insulated. Insulation can stop pipes from freezing and prevent cracks from occurring.

 

 Disconnect hoses 

Hoses that are attached to outdoor water fixtures can store water. This water can expand during winter freeze and crack. Any water that gets caught between the faucet and hose can cause the faucet to crack or expand. To protect outdoor faucets in winter, make sure you have faucet jackets. To stop water from flowing to faucets, use the shut-off valves.

 

 Turn on the water 

If it is very cold outside, turn on a few taps to let cold water drip from the faucets. The water won't freeze or crack your pipes as long as it is flowing. To collect the water, use buckets or barrels.

 

 Keep your house warm  

Did you know that heat can keep your home's interior from freezing, preventing your indoor pipes from freezing? Do not allow indoor temperatures to drop below 55 degrees. If outside temperatures are extremely cold, open your sink cabinets so that warm air can circulate around the pipes. This will prevent freezing.

 

Clear all snow blockages - A buildup of snow around drainage exits could lead to clogged pipes, which are more likely to break. This is especially important for the sump pump drainage line. This prevents water from flooding your crawl space and basement. It is important to ensure there are no puddles of water that could freeze or block water flowing from the drains.

 

  3. Conserve Water And Energy With These Simple Tips 

Water is one of the most important resources humans have. Conserving water can help Illinois residents save water, and ultimately their pockets. Not only will you save money on your electricity bills, but it will also have a positive impact on the environment. Small changes in your home can lead to big savings. Compare electricity rates for different energy providers to determine what is most affordable.

 WaterSense-labeled products can not only save water but also reduce your energy costs. WaterSense-labeled faucet aerators can be installed in bathrooms for as little as a few dollars and could save you enough electricity for your entire year.

 Water-efficient appliances such as sinks, showers and washing machines are best. The machine that uses less water is more efficient.

 Keep an eye on your water bills. Check for leaks or excessive usage if your water bill goes up after a month.

 Dishwashers are more efficient than hand washing, especially when you wash large loads. ENERGY Star dishwashers can save about 1,600 Gallons of water over their lifetime.

 Clean/replace all filters in your home on regular basis. Dirty filters can cause your system to work hard, use more natural gas and run longer than usual.

 You can reduce energy consumption and costs by setting your thermostat at 78F in summer, and 68F winter. Energy consumption will rise by 6 to 8 percent for every degree of heating or cooling. Insulation will help maintain a consistent temperature in your home. using a Smart thermostat is a good investment.

 

 

 Bottom Line 

Your home is one of the largest and most important purchases you make. It was often the result of a long, difficult search that could have taken many months or even years. When it comes to home maintenance, such as air conditioner repairs or plumbing maintenance, it is important to hire someone qualified and capable. Don't let plumbing issues get you down. Contact experts in your area as soon as you notice any problems with your plumbing system.